With the massive proliferation of mobile dating apps since Tinder’s inception, modern singles have an overwhelming choice when they finally decide to download one of these digital matchmakers. As the aforementioned app is certainly considered ‘the big dog’ in this dating game, you may find other disruptions are less palpable. However, a dating app driven by the narrative “date intelligently” is disproving that notion.
Aimed at singles weary of un-self aware users and those far below their league, The League encourages swipers to maintain their high standards. Though the app has spurred some controversy due to its ‘exclusive’ nature, those who are quick to criticize miss the fact that The League bolsters feminist values. Dismantling the structure of archaic male/female dating dichotomies, the app pairs singles with their intellectual equivalents and in doing so has become a huge success. The League’s founder and CEO, Amanda Bradford, who self describes, not as an “elitist”, but rather as an “Alpha Female”, took the time to chat with TechDay about the strategies she’s employed to grow the dynamic brand.
What unique marketing tactics do you employ that align with the company's brand and voice?
A product launch is identical to throwing a party, and behind every party, is an epic pregame. Instead of making The League immediately available to the public The League drums up excitement months in advance with intriguing marketing, events and social content. Group exercise events, pre-launch parties and themed social mixers to spread the buzz about us contributed to thousands of sign ups before the product was live.
This marketing tactic aligns with our company's brand and voice because we like to think of ourselves as more than just a dating app. We consider The League to be an exclusive club, with a killer singles scene. We pre-gamed our SF launch for five months and had 8,000 registrations before we launched our alpha, and 76,000 within three months of go live. Now we’re live in SF, NYC and LA with nearly 100k MAUs.
Our specific marketing tactics are similar to marketing your own party. First you have to build an invite list, then you need people to show up, and finally you gotta act cool. When building our invite list we used the VIP approach in creating target lists and meeting those people in person. To get them to ‘show up’ we gave them access to special pre- launch events. Then we act cool- meaning we never force anyone with a sales pitch. If you get to know your users as people they will respect you and what you are building!
How are you able to successfully establish yourselves as the online dating destination for those with higher standards?
The League’s heavily scrutinized admissions-based model is our attempt to create a founding community of high-achieving, diverse, and influential members that will serve as trailblazers to help change the conventional gender views still prevalent in our society. Yes, we are selective - we believe in the research that correlates education and professional achievement with ambition, and weigh these data heavily in our screening algorithms. Pretty much with all the dating apps today the focus is on quantity of matches, looks, and ‘hooking up’. The League is a platform that promotes relationship equality, where the users are looking for their intellectual equal, someone that will see them as a true partner and who is enlightened enough to realize the gender stereotypes present in our parent’s generation are outdated and irrelevant in today’s world. In short, our users want a partner who will support them in chasing their dreams, but will also be chasing their own. Given that our users are busy professionals focusing on advancing their career, a critical feature is our integration with LinkedIn, which allows The League to block you from coworkers, business contacts, and Facebook friends so you can keep your personal life separate from your career. This integration also shows your work and education history, as we’ve seen that education level and profession are very statistically significant in successful matches.